Her name may still be unfamiliar, but it won’t be for long. Keri Hilson, whose long-delayed debut, “In a Perfect World,” will debut in the Top 5 of the Billboard 200, this week, has been kicking around for a few years. The Timbaland protégé (she’s signed to his Interscope-distributed label) has co-written for a number of artists, including Britney Spears and Omarion. She also sang on Timbaland’s No. 3 hit “The Way I Are” and appeared in videosfor Usher’s “Love in this Club” and Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent.”
Now, Ne-Yo is returning the favor on “Knock You Down.” The mid-tempo track is undeniably catchy and will embed itself within your brain after only a few listens. That’s no surprise given that its co-writers include Hilson and Kanye West. Danja, best known for his recent work with Spears, produced it.
The video stars Hilson, West and Ne-Yo and its success lies solely in the charisma and believability that the trio brings to the small screen, which is considerable. Hilson and West are in love, that is, until Ne-Yo enters the picture and her overwhelming feelings for him “knock her down.” The triangle gets messy, as they often do, and in a great visual effect, West falls backwards and shatters into a million pieces.
It’s a smart, classy video that brings added dimension to the song. Hilson is a natural in front of a camera. When he gets out of his own way and just lets his prodigious talent speak, West is awesome, as he is in this clip, both as an actor and rapper. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of the stare-down he has with Ne-Yo, who is at his charming best here.
Watch the video for “Knock You Down” below.